Press statement: Oxfam commend the Royal Government of Cambodia for prioritizing informal economic workers for the next batch of vaccines
Oxfam welcome the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC)’s decision to prioritise front line economic actors who are most vulnerable such as street vendors, taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, garbage collectors, sex workers, garment workers, and those who cannot work from home to be the next inline after ‘the elderly population’s 15-days campaign’ to receive vaccination. This prioritization will not only demonstrate the RGC’s commitment to equitable distribution of vaccines but also in keeping the economy running under this challenging circumstance.
These frontline economic workers have been fighting to protect their lives and livelihoods since the beginning of the pandemic. Many of them have lost their jobs and struggled every day to feed themselves and their families. This pandemic has taught us that these frontline economic actors are our essential workers. They risks their lives and continue to provide much needed cares for our children, make our clothes, cook our food, drive us to hospitals, keep our streets and sewages clean and much more, and most importantly they keep us safe and healthy. Thus, once these essential economic forces are vaccinated, we will be safe too. The RGC’s much needed Covid-19 relief programmes have reached 2.8 million people to date including these frontline workers, so should the vaccines.
Cambodia‘s economy will only be recovered until we have effective vaccines and enough for everyone, and #PeopleVaccines is the answer to this. Informal economic sector contributes up to 70% of Cambodia’s Gross Domestic Products, the decline in this sector will drive millions of Cambodians who have escaped poverty back into extreme vulnerabilities, and effectively prolong economic recession for years to come.
Oxfam sincerely hope that the next batch of vaccine which is arriving today will prioritize these vulnerable groups.
Ms. Naratevy Kek